"And for our final band of the night...Sacrament!"
I was more excited than I had been my entire life, getting up o that stage. It was an excellent moment for me, finally becoming a success at something. I looked out to the audience, seeing my dad sitting amongst them. He was smiling, and I could tell he was proud of me. I smiled back, as we begun to play.
We weren't exactly an original band. It was easiest for me at a young age to play my dad's songs, because I was surrounded by them. Sacrament was just another HIM tribute band, but we didn't care. We had fun playing the music. Plus, it was the only HIM tribute band to have Valo blood within it. Of course, I was the singer, and had many compliments given to my voice.
Originally, we were Kris Valo and Sacrament, but we decided to scrap that name as we didn't want people to listen to us just because of the Valo name. It worked, as we got into an American bands competition. Back in Helsinki, we had seen the advertisement on the television, and I rushed to the phone to call Janne immediately, before I even got the number down.
Luckily, Janne had got the number down, and we called them. They needed a video of our footage for the competition, so they know whether to add us to the list of not, I got my dad to film us one night as we played in the garage. We had played for the video three songs; Your Sweet 666, Drunk on Shadows, and It's All Tears (Drown in This Love). We got a call back two weeks later, saying that we were excellent and scheduled as the last act of the night.
It took a little bit of persuading my band-mates' parents to allow them to go to New York to play a concert, as we were only fifteen years old. My dad managed to convince them that everything would be okay, and that we would have his whole band there to accompany us and possibly play a show the next day. He told nobody else, but confided in me that he may have us open.
Playing onstage was exquisite. The first song we played, of the two we were allowed to, was Beyond Redemption. People seemed to go for it instantly, and I found myself singing with a huge smile plastered on my face. It wasn't an extremely big club, but the place was crowded. Apparently word had gotten out that "the best HIM tribute band in all of Finland" was going to play, and many people wanted to see just what we were capable of.
As we took a moment to break before singing the next song, I could hear people talking. "His voice sounds just like Ville Valo's," I heard someone say.
As Janne began to play the riff of Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly, I felt more proud of myself than ever. Nobody in this entire building other than my dad and his band-mates knew who I was, and already people were eating it up. It wasn't as if I was a carbon copy of my dad, anyway. I had his voice, his natural hair, and his figure, but my entire face belonged to someone else.
I never knew who the someone else was. My dad never told me. I knew I was a product of male pregnancy, because my dad never wanted me to believe otherwise. He was proud to have carried me inside him for nine months. By looking at me, and not seeing my face, one could assume I was my dad, but as soon as they glance in my eyes, it's as if they have second thoughts. Sometimes I used to stand at the mirror and try to guess.
The song was drawing to a close, and the entire club gave applaud. The smile on my face was beyond huge, and Janne was laughing at me. Being my best friend, he was the only person who I really allowed to laugh at me. We walked off stage, and I noticed my dad and his band-mates come forward. The audience had before assumed that HIM was there to check us out, but as I gave my dad a giant hug, revelations came to their minds.
"You did excellent, Kris," he told me.
That's my name. Kristian Michael Brandon Valo. People tended to call me Kris, though. I didn't mind, although I did like the sound of Kristian better. It felt more mature to be called Kristian. Janne and I ran in backstage, where the other bands were sitting around waiting. Our band-mates followed behind us, as did my dad. We were all so excited to see what would happen.
"And the winner is...Lost Brigade!"
My face fell at that. I thought we had done so well. My drummer, Järno, assured me that we had done fine, and that they probably didn't even want tribute bands there. Of course, the audience didn't seem to happy either when I peeked around the curtain. The judges obviously had a different taste than the audience, but that didn't matter to me anymore. We tried our best.
"It's okay, kaveri," Janne told me.
'Kaveri' was Finnish for 'buddy'. "I know. We'll do fine somewhere else."
The ride back to the hotel was at first silent, but when we realized that there was a roof window in our vehicle, Janne and I smiled and decided to climb through it. The nightlife of New York was spectacular, so busy and lighted. I had a digital camera with me, and attempted to take as many pictures as I could. Janne and I even took pictures of each other, our hair blowing in the wind, with lights blurring behind us n each shot.
I showed the pictures to my dad when we got to the hotel. Almost instantly, I threw open my laptop and uploaded my pictures to Facebook. I was often called a geek by my friends, as I was addicted to Facebook, but I didn't care. As long as I was happy, I felt fine. My dad laughed and told me to get my ass in bed, but I stayed another three hours up until two in the morning, conversing on MSN messenger to all my friends in Helsinki.
I awoke late into the morning, at almost noon, to find I was alone in the hotel room. A note was left on the desk beside my bed. "Kris, I've gone to a sound check. You can do whatever you want today, just be back by 5pm. Dad." I smiled when I read that. I could go off and do whatever I want. I quickly pulled on a pair of jeans and my closest T-shirt, which was Cradle Of Filth, and slipped on my black sneakers which were falling apart. Only my leather jacket could complete the outfit.
Janne was already awake when I got to his room next door. He was practicing his guitar riffs while the rest of the band was either asleep or showering. I had my camera in my jacket pocket, and I grabbed onto Janne's arm, bugging him to come sightseeing with me. He rolled his eyes, and put his guitar into it's case. Grabbing his jacket and slipping on his shoes, the two of us took off.
"How are we gonna get around?" he asked me.
"Plenty of raha, my friend!" 'Raha' was Finnish for 'money'.
I grabbed the dollar bills out of my pocket, and showed him. He seemed so surprised, as I never had so much money on me, let alone American money. It was at least five hundred dollars, and his eyes went wider as I counted it before him. We jumped on a bus as soon as it came by, trying to conserve our money as greatly as we could. The first place we got off at was the empire state building, and stared at it in all it's glory.
Janne and I spent about five minutes just staring before doing anything. Almost instantly after that, I whipped out my camera and we began to take some pictures. There were people walking around who stared at us, but hearing the accents in our laughter, they understood that we were tourists. Some people gave us dirty looks for being so obvious, and others giggled about us.
Deciding that we didn't have the time to go inside, we decided to walk down the street until we found something amusing. We passed by many hot dog stands, Janne demanding a picture with a hot dog vendor to show all our Finnish friends, as well as many clothing stores. I had debated going inside a while and buy a new outfit, but decided against it. We didn't need to waste the money we had on clothes. Eventually, Janne convinced me to go in.
We each emerged from one store with some new accessories. Not necessarily clothing, but some cross necklaces, and metallic rings. More pictures were taken after that. I attempted to look like my dad, and pose for a picture looking so, but Janne laughed and told me it was no use. My face was too different and it betrayed all the pictures. I still tried to pose like a rock star, and it was then that Janne gave me the best idea; I ought to get a tattoo.
There was no doubt about it, I was gonna get a heartagram. After spending some time trying to figure out where I'd do it, I decided on a heartagram on the inside of each wrist. The place we went to required a parent's consent when the customer was under eighteen, but giving a call to my dad on my cell phone, he gave the permission. Because he was Ville Valo, they didn't request the signature that they required, and let on with it.
"We still have about three hundred," I told Janne when we emerged.
We spent a moment thinking about it, and then I grinned. "Limo!"
Janne and I called up the operator and asked for a limousine company, and ordered ourselves a limo for the rest of the day. We only had two hours left until I had to be back at the hotel, and what is better than spending those two hours riding around in a limo? We were even more joyous when the limo showed up, having being one with a roof window. I asked the driver for a tour around New York, and Janne and I were half-way out the roof the entire time.
I was pointing to everything as we passed by. The apartment building where David Bowie lived was one of the places we passed, and although we didn't see him, Janne took a picture so we would remember it. People stared at us even more as we did this, but we didn't care. Finally, we got hungry, and having only an hour left, we decided it would be best to stop for food.
From the moment I heard that HIM was coming to New York while we were there, I was scared. I hadn't seen Ville Valo in near sixteen years, and I was afraid to see him again. We hadn't exactly parted on the best of terms, and I didn't want to see him act bitter or timid. I had gone to a HIM concert every so often in between, but never was I actually staying in the same time. Almost instantly after the concert would end, I would be gone.
I was sitting around when Ryan told me that coincidentally HIM was coming to town the next day. I was a little upset about it, but hid it well. He also explained that the supposed best HIM tribute band in Finland would be playing the bands competition the night before, being that night. We decided it might be fun to go and check it out, see how great these people really were.
I was shocked when I saw the band Sacrament come onstage at the end of the night. They looked like they were only teenagers. Obviously they were serious, though, as I noticed the singer looked strongly like he was trying to be Ville. My thoughts were confirmed when he began to sing Beyond Redemption. His voice was no different than Ville's, and it sounded like it really could be HIM.
Ryan and I sat in the very back of the club, as we noticed that HIM was indeed there, and sitting close to the front. It was hard to see Sacrament as well from the back, but I had to admit, they were amazingly good. The singer moved just like Ville, and it appeared he had been studying my old friend's stage presence quite well. They played two songs, and I couldn't help but want to go up at meet them. That thought was put aside when HIM approached them.
We slipped out the door before seeing anymore, and I immediately passed out as we got back to our hotel room. In the morning, Ryan had told me that there was quite a bit of ruckus going on while I slept, seeing as HIM and Sacrament were all staying in the same hotel as us. I groaned upon hearing that, and decided it would be best to get out as soon as possible.
I was out on the streets of New York City by noon, with Ryan and Raab by my side. We drove around a while like a bunch of crazy bastards. Clearly, we weren't the only ones, as I noticed a limo pass us by with two kids screaming and taking pictures out the roof. I was sure that the one with the camera, a boy with scraggly brown curly hair and a leather jacket, managed to take a picture of us. We continued to drive, though, until we got hungry.
"Let's stop at Taco Bell have summin," Raab suggested.
I nodded, and we pulled the Hummer over into the parking lot of the closest Taco Bell. Ryan and Raab were out before me, and took off inside as I turned off the vehicle and took out the keys. Jumping out, I noticed a limousine in the parking lot already, and wondered whether it was the same one we had already seen. Deciding that it didn't matter, I opened the door and entered.
"Hey kiveri," Janne began, "Isn't that Bam Margera?"
I turned in the middle of eating when Janne said that. Indeed, Bam Margera the skateboarder and Jackass star had just walked in the restaurant, along with Ryan Dunn and Raab Himself. I was speechless. These guys were heroes of mine, since I first saw old re-runs of Viva La Bam on TV. Many times I had asked my dad to introduce us, but he often told me they didn't speak anymore.
We continued to eat for another five minutes, until Bam and his friends took their seat. They were on the other side of the restaurant, and I debated going over to say hello, but I decided that it may make me seem annoying, like some fan. Janne was just as excited as I was, and the both of us were having trouble ignoring the fact that heroes of ours were so close to us. Eventually, we pulled ourselves up and walked over to them.
"You're Bam Margera!" I cried.
He laughed, "Yes, I am. I'm also trying to eat, if you don't mind."
"I'm sorry, could we just hang with you? Please?"
I hadn't a clue what made him do it, but he agreed to let us. We were silent at first, with no idea what to say, but then I grabbed out my camera. As Bam, Ryan, and Raab ate, w e took pictures of them. Ryan shot us a weird look, especially me when he saw the smile on my face, and assuming it was because of my camera, I shoved it back in my pocket.
"What are your names?" Bam finally asked.
"I'm Kris, and this is Janne."
"Hey wait," I sputtered out, realization dawning on my face, "Aren't you in that HIM tribute band, Sacrament?"
Kris nodded, and I told him, "You sing just like Ville Valo, man. Congrats."
I smiled proudly. It was obvious that Bam had no clue who I really was, and he was proud for my singing regardless. Everyone else in the club that night had felt the same, but it was different hearing it from Bam. Ryan nodded in agreement, and I shot a mile-wide grin at my best friend. They went on to tell us that he could pass off as HIM on the radio, and I felt so good inside.
"Thanks. We practice a lot."
"Do you wanna hang out with us?" Bam asked.
My eyes went wide, "Of course! It would be a dream come true!"
He laughed, and the five of us cleared the table and headed out. I ran over to the limo driver, and paid him the rest of my money for our driving early. After doing that, I joined Janne, Bam, Ryan, and Raab in the Hummer. It was a dream come true, just as I had said before. Music was played loudly in the speakers, and all of us were rocking out to it. I recognized the bands; he played Cradle Of Filth, Bloodhound Gang, and CKY.
As he began to play HIM's Razorblade Kiss, I realized that I was going to be late back to the hotel. Whipping out my cell, I left a message for my dad on his, and went back to having fun. In one whole day, I had taken billions of pictures, bought new jewellery, got two tattoos, and met my hero Bam Margera. People often would assume the life of a rock star's child was a whirlwind of fun all the time, but this day was the highlight of my teenage years.
In the Hummer, I was taking another billion pictures, making sure to get me in some, as proof that it actually happened. I was in no hurry to get back to the hotel, but I was already excited to post these on my Facebook. Everyone was having so much fun, rocking out and being crazy, that we hadn't even noticed the truck drive toward us. The driver was clearly drunk, but there was not enough time to say anything before everything went dark.
I looked up, feeling pain and exhaustion. Ryan beside me seemed okay, just as me, but I panicked when I checked the backseat. The blonde boy, Janne, seemed okay, but Raab was very bloody, and Kris was not only bloody, but completely passed out. We could hear sirens come toward us, and I struggled to get out of my dented Hummer. Ryan helped Janne and Raab out of the backseat, as I opened the door and collected Kris in my arms.
The police and an ambulance showed up instantly. An adult was required to go with Kris in the ambulance to the hospital, and although the police wanted to question me, I went with him. Janne told me that if they need any ID, Kris kept it all in his wallet, which was in the left pocket of his jacket. I thanked the boy, and while we were in the back of the ambulance, I removed the wallet from his jacket for the paramedic who asked for his full name.
My breathing stopped when I read the name on his health card. Valo, Kristian Michael Brandon. He didn't just look like Ville Valo, he was no doubt related to him. Unless the boy got his name legally changed, but I highly doubted that anyone would let their teenage son legally change his last name. The date of birth on his card made him out to be fifteen.
Looking closer at the boy, I now understood why he looked so much like Ville. The hair was Ville's, the physique was Ville's. Hell, even when he's spoken, I could hear Ville on his voice. I had no idea how they were related, but it answered a lot of questions for me. I noticed a wound on his head, one that had been bleeding, and there was blood trickled in his hair. His face was calm as he was unconscious, and it reminded me slightly of someone.
"What is his name?" the paramedic asked again.
"Oh, sorry. Kristian Valo."
"Are you his legal guardian?"
"No," I replied. "I'm a...friend. I don't even know who his guardian is."
I knew by then that another ambulance was on it's way behind us. Ryan, Raab, and Janne would have to be looked over before they were let go. Questioning with them had already completed by the time everyone had got to the hospital. I was looked over quickly by a couple doctors inside, while Kris was rushed instantly to emergency. I began to fill out his paperwork, as best as I could, and told Janne to contact his guardian.
The receptionist bothered me about not filling in the paperwork completely, but I told her that I didn't know Kris until that day, and had to wait for his legal guardian to arrive. She nodded, and I sat in a chair in the waiting room with my three friends, and Janne. No parent would ever trust me again, after I managed to get two Finnish teenagers into a car accident. I was about to pass out when I heard the door slam open, and a tall man ran in.
"Is Kris okay?" he yelled.
I looked up, and somewhat wished I hadn't. It was Ville, in all his glory, standing at the front desk with a look of worry on his face. I was unsure as to whether he had been crying, but at the time, that didn't matter. What mattered was the fact that my old best friend, my ex-lover, was standing in the emergency waiting room, questioning about Kristian Valo.
"He'll be okay, Ville."
He then turned to look at me. Everything was written on his face; anger, worry, shock, and I could tell he was breathless. Ville had barely aged since I last saw him. His hair was long again, scraggly as always, and his eyes looked just as sad and tired as ever. Obviously, he was shocked to see that I had been with Kris. It didn't seem unusual to me, but he looked bewildered.
"Why were you with my son, Bam?"
His son? I was more confused now. When Ville and I had broke it off sixteen years before, it had been because I was with Jenn still and didn't dump her for him. He seemed heartbroken by it, but if he had a fifteen year old son, then it was clear that he cheated on me as well. I had no idea what to say, seeing both the anger and worry overcoming the older man's face, so I motioned for him to sit beside me. When he did, I began to talk.
"He and his friend came to talk to us in Taco Bell. We all decided to hang."
"How the fuck did he end up in the hospital?"
"A drunk driver hit us when we weren't paying attention."
Our conversation was interrupted by a doctor walking in, asking for the legal guardian of Kristian Valo. Ville stood, and began to fill out the paperwork that I hadn't been able to complete. When that finished, he sat again, but spoke nothing more to me. He was angry and bitter, and he wanted nothing to do with me. I completely understood, but I couldn't help but wonder about his son; who the child's mother was and why she wasn't with him.
"Mr. Valo, I'm afraid your son needs a blood transfusion."
Ville looked even more frightened then, replying, "That can't be so, doctor. I haven't got his blood type."
"Is there any relative within the area who could possibly help out?"
I expected Ville to shake his head, as I was sure he had no family around in the States. What I saw was very different. Ville, unsure of what he was doing, turned around and looked right at me. I had no idea why he was looking at me, and I was afraid to ask. He looked deep into my eyes, his face becoming less angry by the second, and shot the seriousness within his heart into my mind. I bit my lip, afraid for what he would say.
"I'm sorry I kept him from you, Bam," he began. "I was scared, and you wanted to be with Jenn, but now that all has to be put behind us. Kristian is your son, Bam...and he needs your blood, or else he'll die."
I awoke surrounded by bright lights. I could feel tubes connected to my arms and legs, and a bandage around my head. Even in the brightness, I could tell that I was in a hospital room. The robe I was wearing, and the bars on the bedside, proved it. I sat up, feeling dizzy and putting a hand to my head. Beside my bed, asleep in a chair, was my dad. I could see in his face that he had been crying, and I wondered why.
Then I remembered; Janne and I had been in Bam Margera's Hummer, and a truck had hit us. Glancing around, I noticed that Bam was also seated in my room. The opposite side of the bed from dad, he was as well asleep, and carrying a tear-stained face. I wondered more why he was crying, especially since he had no reason to. I had no ties to him at all.
Looking back to my dad, I asked, "Dad, are you awake?"
I heard voices and shuffled in my sleep. Opening my eye only a slight bit, I could see that Kris was awake, whispering to my dad. Ville, it seemed was deep in sleep, and not about to wake up. So many thoughts began to run through my head, I was afraid of passing out again. Upon hearing that Kris was my son, everything I ever believed in faded.
I gave my blood for him as instructed, and sat around waiting. The doctors had said there was not a hundred percent chance that he would survive after the loss of so much blood. As well, the blow to his head could also have given him amnesia. I could tell that he still had all his memories, as he attempted to wake his father, but I felt so empty. I had cried all night about my newfound son, just wishing he would wake up, and now that he was, he paid no attention to me.
"Best not wake him yet, Kris. Let him sleep. This has been difficult for him."
I turned to see Bam's tired eyes open. "Bam...what are you doing here?"
"I brought you here."
"Yes, but I'm confused. Why stay? You don't need to, my dad's here."
I could see him thinking, but I was unsure of what he was thinking about. Eventually he told me, "Just wait for your dad to awake, okay?"
I nodded. After a while of waiting, I got tired and bored, and decided to go back to sleep. I dreamed that night of the accident, and awoke screaming. An arm on my shoulder softly calmed me down a bit, and I turned to see my dad smiling at me. He said nothing as he moved in closer and engulfed me in a great hug. I turned to my other side when he let me go, to see that Bam had left.
"Dad, where did he go?"
"Just to eat, don't worry. He'll be back soon."
I nodded, then asked, "Why was he staying in here?"
"He gave you blood, kulta."
'Kulta' was Finnish for 'darling'. I nodded again, and lay back on my bed to relax a bit. The thought hadn't instantly occurred, but suddenly I began to think about it. Bam Margera gave me blood? Wasn't a family member supposed to give blood in situations like that? I was so confused. I always knew my father had a different blood type than me, but Bam didn't?
"He's not family, though, dad."
"Actually, Kris...he is family." When he saw me giving him a confused raised eyebrow, he added, "He's your other father."
I didn't even question him. I didn't want to know why, or how; at least, not yet, anyway. So many things went through my head, but it would be too overwhelming for me at the time to find out the answers. Just as I was began to think more into it, Bam walked into the room, carrying two cups of ice cream. He smiled when he saw me awake.
"I brought you two ice cream...I already had mine..."
I didn't want to hear what he had to say. I didn't even want the ice cream yet. I attempted to jump up from the bed, but the wires and tubes attached to me kept me down. Bam looked almost frightened, and passed my dad his ice cream while putting mine down on a table. He came close to me and slowly moved me down onto the bed, probably assuming that I was freaking out.
Ville looked worried but I continued to hold Kris down, quietly reassuring him that everything was okay. As I let go, I reached over to grab his ice cream, but I hadn't the time to grab it before I felt arms around me. Looking down, I noticed it was Kris, crying but smiling. I said nothing, but instead hugged him back, and rubbed his back as I did so. Maybe everything would be okay. That one in a million chance that led to male pregnancies gave me a son, and one I wasn't about to let go of so quickly.